You've probably heard many stories about how difficult and dangerous rats can be, and while some of these tales might be exaggerated, there is a lot of truth to the notorious reputation rats have. For one thing, rats are one of the most common home-invading pests in Longview, Texas, and they can cause property damage and pose many health risks.
The two rat species in the area that often infest homes and businesses are Norway rats and roof rats. While they have some similarities, such as the diseases they carry and the level of property damage they are likely to leave behind, they also have some noticeable differences in appearance. You can identify Norway rats by their brown-grey coloring and long tails. They are also usually found at ground level as they aren’t good at climbing but are capable swimmers. On the other hand, roof rats are dark brown to black in color with shorter tails, and are often found on roofs or in attics as they are great climbers.
The Dangers Of Having Rats Around Your Property
Rats might be relatively tiny mammals, but the problems they cause for property owners aren't small at all. Rat biology and behavior leads them to constantly gnaw on a range of materials from plastic to drywall to wood as they must do so to keep their incisors from growing too large. When they wear their teeth down, they’ll destroy your home in the process.
However, the real concern with having a rat infestation is all of the health risks associated with them. Both Norway and roof rats are known to carry and spread disease including salmonella and hantavirus, and they can also have parasites, like fleas, that spread other illnesses such as the plague. Plus, rats can cause respiratory problems as even their fur, droppings, and urine can lead to allergic reactions and asthma attacks.
How To Reduce Your Chances Of A Rat Infestation
As with all pest problems, taking preventive measures is overall the best way to keep your property protected. However, keep in mind it’s still possible to get a rat infestation even if you do your best to deter them.
Thankfully, you can still greatly reduce your risk of an infestation by taking steps to remove factors that attract rats in the first place. Here are the best ways to do so:
Rats are attracted to food sources, so focus on cleaning up kitchen areas regularly by wiping up spills, doing dirty dishes, and mopping floors.
As rats are also attracted to food scraps in the trash, make sure to keep lids on all garbage cans both inside and outside.
Store any pet food inside and in airtight containers that rats can’t chew through.
While rats can often get inside by creating small holes with their teeth, you can help prevent this by sealing up potential entry points using a combination of steel wool, caulk, and wire mesh.
Why You Need Professional Assistance For Rat Infestations
Having rats around your property is dangerous, but it can also be dangerous to remove them on your own. Many rat bait products contain harmful chemicals that are especially risky to have around pets and children. Plus, most DIY rodent removal methods just don’t work very well. Instead of wasting time and money and putting yourself and others at risk, get help from the experts at Innovative Pest Control.
With over 25 years providing commercial and residential pest control, you can trust our experience and affordable prices. Find out more about rodent control options, or request a free inspection, by giving us a call today.